Shayla McGregor, an Elementary Education major with a minor in Special Education, is an outstanding student leader who is having a positive impact on the campus through her various roles. She is a resident assistant, Student Senator and a student worker in the TRIO Student Success Program. This past year Shayla implemented a program for residence life entitled "Coming Out Stars." This program allowed students to take on the "persona of an LGBTQ+ community member who experienced their own mock coming out process; they were then encouraged to contribute their thoughts and emotions in a conversation addressing social issues and stigmas that those marginalized by society face daily. This program was one of our most powerful and best attended programs and allowed for multiple members of the campus community to participate and express themselves in a safe environment. In addition to this program, Shayla has used her multiple student leadership positions to bring different groups together and collaborate on a number of campus programs and activities that have created a more cohesive team of student leaders working together to bring about positive change. Shayla is committed to working hard to bring about awareness and change.
As a first generation college student I greatly appreciate the value of education. As one of my core values, I hope to assist and inspire others to develop a passion for learning and exploring the world around them. In my role as a resident assistant I have been presented with many opportunities to spark conversations regarding personal development among my peers. One program I implemented was entitled "Coming Out Stars." This program allowed students to take on the persona of an LGBTQ+ community member and experience their own mock coming out process; they were then encouraged to contribute their thoughts and emotions in a conversation addressing social issues and stigmas that those marginalized by society face daily. I strongly believe in raising awareness and educating the public about discrediting unfounded social stigmas and rather help in the recognition of the accomplishments, contributions, and diversifications these communities offer to enrich society. I believe that lack of education and awareness set the foundation for all social issues. Those that lack an open and empathetic mind cannot overcome the stigmatic façade created by centuries of ignorance.